Isn’t summer supposed to be the time for kids to “take a break?”

My kids got out of school about two weeks ago. The youngest actually reports back to the kindergarten wardens at the end of July. That gives us less than two months to enjoy our freedom.

I suppose two months should be adequate time for a family vacation, trips to the zoo, trips to the playground, trips to the aquarium, birthday parties, camping trips, boating, gardening, swimming lessons, visits to the grandparents, gymnastics, summer reading programs, Vacation Bible School…

Hold on one minute. I’m looking at my calendar and it seems the entire month of June is now booked up with restful, summer “activities.”

As I write this, I am tired. My kids are tired. I think we are suffering from a bad case of, “trying-to-do-it-all-itus.” Some symptoms include mood swings, heat stroke, irritability, inability to say “no,” and lack of money. 

The only cure is bed rest. By the pool.

I’m not sure how the kids are going to take my cancellation of summer yet. But if we keep going at this rate, school will be a welcome break from our summer break! Can you imagine? They’ll be happy to learn even Common Core curriculum if it means they can stop “relaxing” on their summer “break.”

Even if I don’t cancel summer completely, I’m going to have to scale it way back. I’m thinking the first cuts will be items that cost money. Dollywood, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m afraid we’re going to have to start seeing other people.

Next to go will be things that take too much time and/or commitment. Weekly gymnastics lesson, it was nice knowing you. I’m just not that into you. Sorry 45 other kids who are having birthday parties. We are low on time and money and that means you have to make sacrifices.

Finally, I’m going to have to cut those things that eat into my time to sleep late and take frequent naps. No screaming, no running, no television, no friends, no family, no fun – can you two just sit quietly in your rooms until August? No? Well, I guess we’ll have to leave some things the same for summer vacation. 

I will try to go at least once to the Knoxville Zoo to see the two new baby gorillas, who are more popular and better looking than even the Kardashians. I will try to take you to the playground, as long as you realize I’m leaving when I start sweating through my socks.

There will be running and playing outside. There will be swimming and sprinklers and popsicles. There will be staying up late and lightening bugs and tents. We will find wildflowers and rabbits and mud holes and rainbows.

I promise not to waste too much time trying to post it all on Facebook.

Most of all, this summer, we will be together, without schedules or work or worry. We will enjoy the sunshine and freedom that summer always brings.

Now, I just need to fit all that sunshine and freedom into our schedule…

Melissa Kinton is a stay-at-home mom. She is currently rearing one son, one daughter, one cat, two dogs, two horses, and one husband. She may be reached at

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